This isn't really LZ Margo related, but since things have been kind of quiet here I thought I'd post it. Fifty-two years ago today I left for MCRD San Diego from Indianapolis with a group of 70 young men known as Hoosier Platoon 1108. They had quite a send off for us from Monument Circle, which included several dignitaries, a band, and family members. We were then transported by bus to what was then Weir Cook Airport. We made the flight to San Diego on a Lockheed Electra, which was my first time on a commercial airplane. To say that I was in a state of shock when the DI's took us off the plane is an understatement. In no uncertain terms they told us to get onto the waiting bus and to keep our mouths shut. Admittedly, I'd never heard some of the language they used and was scared to death. When we arrived at MCRD, the yelling and screaming became more intense and we were given a few seconds to get off "their" bus and onto the infamous yellow footprints. I vividly remember thinking to myself what in the hell have I gotten myself into. The rest is history, and those of you reading this will be able to relate to the sense of fear and apprehension you felt that first night.
Fast forward 52 years. Successfully completing boot camp while only getting choked once by one of our DI's, and then going through ITR gave me a sense of pride like no other. The title of U.S. Marine is something I'll cherish until the day I die. I will also always cherish the time I spent in Vietnam with some of the bravest Marines to ever walk the face of this earth. We formed a bond that can't be broken, which is pretty amazing. I think that bond was proven last year in Detroit. In hindsight, I'm not sure where the time has gone. What turned out as an adventure for an "invincible" 18-year old kid turned into a chain of life changing events. I'll be 71 in a few weeks and no longer think I'm invincible, but what a ride it's been. I have no regrets. I'll always be proud to be a Marine and to have served our country. Semper Fi